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Adding Diagonal Borders

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Adding Diagonal Borders.

Word allows you to add all sorts of borders to paragraphs, text boxes, and tables. You can place borders on the left, right, top, and bottom of these items. Many people don't realize that when it comes to table cells, you can also place diagonal borders. This means that a border can appear from the top-left to the lower-right corners of a cell, or from the top-right to the lower-left. (Diagonal borders are not available in Word 97.) To take advantage of diagonal borders, follow these steps:

  1. Create your table as you normally would.
  2. Select the cell you want to have the diagonal border.
  3. Choose the Borders and Shading option from the Format menu. Word displays the Borders and Shading dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Borders tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Borders tab of the Borders and Shading dialog box.

  6. At the bottom left and right corners of the Preview area of the dialog box, you should see buttons that have diagonal lines on them. Click the line that represents the type of diagonal border you want to use.
  7. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (877) applies to Microsoft Word 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Adding Diagonal Borders.

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Comments for this tip:

Konstantin Andreev    08 Apr 2014, 06:22
This statement is wrong: «5. ... Click the line that represents the type of diagonal border you want to use»

My Word 2003 denies most of line styles for diagonal borders. Only small subset of styles is allowed. Solid, dashed, but not dotted. Double-solid is still allowed, but all styles beneath it are denied.
Cecilia L    16 Jul 2013, 17:42
Kristina, if by "underlining" you are referring to the bottom border line in a cell, then check the row below the cell that you are adjusting and make sure that that row's top border line is off. This can happen when rows have unequal amounts of cells in them, causing the cell border line to extend to the longest area.
Kristina M.    25 Jun 2013, 19:28
I am trying to underline 1 cell in a table and it is underlining all cells to the left of the 1 cell I want highlighted. I have used all the tricks I know to get it to stop...I am hoping you can enlighten me with a new trick please!
David Homa    06 Apr 2013, 13:33
The visual effects from this tip can be magnificent in their beauty.
Thank you for the tip - David.



 
 

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